Volvo Cars plans to make lidar sensors standard equipment in a new generation of its XC90 SUV next year. This is just a part of their strategy to deploy more advanced safety and automated driving technology that relies on precise images of the world around the vehicle.
This decision by Volvo Cars to fold lidar sensors into the base price of its vehicle is a bet that their customers will pay for the additional capability. The industry persons call this as a watershed moment. This is a Swedish brand which is owned by China’s Geely group. It is now taking a sharply different road from Tesla Inc. they have now shunned lidar and radar and are focusing on just cameras and software for its automated driving systems. Luminar Technologies Inc, which is a good start up in self driving car sensor will supply Volvo Cars with its Iris lidar and Sentinel software in combination with software from Volvo in the electric XC90 SUV. This will be built in South Carolina. And as per the company the sales is from 2022.
The new technologies are designed to address traffic situations to prevent severe injuries and fatalities. This technology can later on improve rapidly and even intervene to prevent collisions. Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson stated that by having this hardware as standard, they can continuously improve safety features over the air and also introduce advanced autonomous drive systems. Lidar sensors uses laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the car. The automakers insist that to enable obstacle detection and avoidance in advanced driving assistance systems, even such as fully automated vehicles, this Lidar sensor will be needed.
Russell declined to say what the deal will mean financially for Luminar or discuss potential volumes. But the XC90 is Volvo Car’s top-selling U.S. vehicle. Last year it made almost 92,500 sales, and became the top third globally. Luminar said that it had struck a deal with Zenseact. It is a software unit of Volvo Cars. The deal is to offer a combination hardware-software system to power autonomous features for Volvo vehicles. The system will aim to provide automated driving only on highways, said Luminar. SAIC Motor Corp, which is China’s largest automaker, said that it will offer self-driving vehicles in that market next year. This is in partnership with Palo Alto, California-based Luminar. Luminar was founded in 2012. Now it is one of several U.S. lidar manufacturers to go public via reverse mergers and with blank-check companies.